Oncology Central

Chemotherapeutic targeting of the TGF-β pathway in breast cancers

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TGF-β is a multifunctional cytokine that plays an essential role in regulating mammary gland development, morphogenesis, differentiation and involution. TGF-β also regulates mammary gland homeostasis and prevents its transformation by prohibiting dysregulated cell cycle progression and inducing apoptosis; it also creates cell microenvironments that readily inhibit cell migration, invasion and metastasis. Interestingly, while early-stage mammary tumors remain sensitive to the tumor-suppressing activities of TGF-β, late-stage breast cancers become insensitive to the anticancer functions of this cytokine and instead rely upon TGF-β to drive disease and metastatic progression.

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